Thursday, July 20, 2017

Saint & Doctor of the Church

 

St. Lawrence of Brindisi



Image of St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Facts

Feastday: July 21
Patron of Brindisi
Birth: 1559
Death: 1619


Caesare de Rossi was born at Brandisi, kingdom of Naples, on July 22nd. He was educated by the conventual Franciscans there and by his uncle at St. Mark's in Venice. When sixteen, he joined the Capuchins at Verona, taking the name Lawrence. He pursued his higher studies in theology, philosophy, the bible, Greek, Hebrew, and several other languages at the University of Padua. He was ordained and began to preach with great effect in Northern Italy. He became definitor general of his Order in Rome in 1596, a position he was to hold five times, was assigned to conversion work with Jews, and was sent to Germany, with Blessed Benedict of Urbino, to combat Lutheranism. They founded friaries at Prague, Vienna, and Gorizia, which were to develop into the provinces of Bohemia, Austria, and Styria. At the request of Emperor Rudolf II, Lawrence helped raise an army among the German rulers to fight against the Turks, who were threatening to conquer all of Hungary, became its chaplain, and was among the leaders in the Battle of Szekesfehevar in 1601; many attributed the ensuing victory to him. In 1602, he was elected Vicar General of the Capuchins but refused re-election in 1605. He was sent to Spain by the emperor to persuade Philip III to join the Catholic League, and while there, founded a Capuchin house in Madrid. He was then sent as papal nuncio to the court of Maximillian of Bavaria, served as peacemaker in several royal disputes, and in 1618, retired from worldly affairs to the friary at Caserta. He was recalled at the request of the rulers of Naples to go to Spain to intercede with King Philip for them against the Duke of Osuna, Spanish envoy to naples and convinced the King to recall the Duke to avert an uprising. The trip in the sweltering heat of summer exhausted him, and he died a few days after his meeting with the King at Lisbon on July 22nd. Lawrence wrote a commentary on Genesis and several treatises against Luther, but Lawrence's main writings are in the nine volumes of his sermons. He was canonized in 1881 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959. His feast day is July 21st.

Moving Father around so much

Why are priests moved around so much? How should we welcome them?

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Parish reassignments can be stressful for priests, and for the people in the pews, too.

Dear Katrina,
I have two questions for you. What is the reason for frequent priestly reassignments? We seem to get a new priests at our parish every three years or so. Also, what is the best way to welcome our new priest? I would like to do something nice to make him feel welcomed. Ideas?
M.M.R
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Dear M.M.R,
Both are great questions.
I asked a few priest friends of mine what are some ways their congregation can make them feel welcome and their replies were as varied as their personalities. Most suggested inviting Father over for dinner, but keep in mind that some priests may be more introverted or extremely busy settling into their new assignment. Feeding Father seemed to be the most suggested and welcomed advice, though, because who doesn’t appreciate a nice meal? My favorite comment came from a local priest who said “If you feed me, I’ll remember your name.” Tip noted, padre.
There were also a few suggestions that a nice card welcoming the priest was a genuine and simple effort they often appreciated. You could even slip in a $10 gift card for gas or coffee in the card. It doesn’t need to be an extravagant effort to still be sincere. Other ideas included spiritual bouquets (like this beautiful example) or offering to help out or volunteer at the parish.
Now let me add how to make a priest NOT feel welcome. Don’t tell Father “This is how it’s always been done” or “That’s not how Fr. Previous Priest used to do things.” Don’t complain to other parishioners or publicly voice your objections if the new priest does something you don’t like or don’t agree with; basically don’t be a gossip. Patiently give each new priest the chance to find his footing in this new environment. Patience is probably the best gift you could give to any new priest.
As for your other question, there can be several reason for reassigning a priest to a new parish and the frequency in which it’s done varies from diocese to diocese. In my own diocese, pastor reassignments happen every six years and in other dioceses it can be without any terms at all. When it’s without terms a pastor can request to stay or be reassigned with the bishop giving the final approval.
For the parochial vicar, or assistant pastor, they typically have no terms and can be moved around more frequently, generally every 1-3 years. I’ve been told the reason for this frequency is so they can gain experience in preparation for their more permanent role as pastor. The circulation of priests typically serves practical reasons. It helps priests broaden their experience and perspectives but it also can prevent cults of personality from forming around priests.
I know reassignments can be stressful for all involved, the priest and the congregation, and adjusting to change can be harder for some than others. Some priests transition with little effort and some parishioners can become very anxious when they receive word that a priest they’ve become attached to is moving. We could argue either way about the necessity for such frequent change. But in the end, it’s important to remember that the main relationship is always between the People of God and Jesus Christ.

New Catholic School Chief in New Orleans on school choice

Is school choice helping or hurting Catholic schools in New Orleans?


Fresh on the job, the city’s first black Catholic schools chief remains optimistic in face of flagging enrollment, new competition
The following article is a re-print of Janene Tate’s article, Is school choice helping or hurting Catholic schools in New Orleans? This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
RaeNell Houston heard the calling to be an educator years ago. A former teacher, she has served as associate superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of New Orleans since 2012. She takes her seat as the head of the school system — an appointment by New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond —  in July.  Houston, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans and a master’s degree from Louisiana State University, is the first black person in the history of the Archdiocese to fill this role.
In a news release announcing Houston’s assignment to lead schools in eight parishes and more than 3,500 students, Aymond said: “She (Houston) brings with her the professional experience and expertise necessary to lead our schools…She is a woman of strong faith and family, and is well prepared to lead our school family.”
As a longtime member of this family, Houston knows firsthand that she has her share of challenges ahead. Among them are declining enrollment in Catholic schools and growing public scrutiny over private school vouchers. However, she is equipped and enthusiastic to continue on the path of promoting Catholic education.
Question: Do you feel that you’re in competition with charter or secular private schools?
Answer: I think today, in New Orleans in particular, that parents are empowered with school choice. You’re not assigned to a particular school based your address. Parents are empowered with finding the school that is the best fit for their children. The competition has always existed with other private schools as well as public schools, but I think that’s a positive thing.
I am seeing a lot more targeted marketing by schools on TV, radio and billboards marketing schools to particular groups of parents. This is a discussion we’ve been having… (how to) develop a strategic and robust marketing campaign for Catholic education in general, and of course, assisting our schools with their more targeted marketing.
Q: How have your admissions and retention trends been over the past two years?
A: We have fluctuation in numbers, of course. There’s no big trend of students leaving Catholic schools for other private school or public schools here. Usually, a student will transfer from one Catholic school to another Catholic school, if needed. Most of the parents that come in looking for an alternative (to their current school) are those that have moved to a different neighborhood, or have some other personal or household issue. If there is a financial issue, we always try to assist as much as we can so that the student can remain in our system and matriculate.
All of our schools have some amount of financial assistance set aside for families in need of financial assistance. We have the annual Champions of Catholic Education collection in February. Every church in the archdiocese has a second collection. Those funds are distributed to families who are in need of financial assistance.
More than 3,000 students in New Orleans use vouchers to attend Catholic schools.

Read more: http://nceatalk.org/2017/07/is-school-choice-helping-or-hurting-catholic-schools-in-new-orleans/

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The would be Apostle; but he lost out to Matthias

St. Joseph of Barsabas

Facts

Feastday: July 20
Death: 1st century


A follower of Christ also called Joseph Barsassas and sur named "the Just." He is the person listed in the Acts of the Apostles as a competitor of St. Matthias for the vacant place among the Apostles, caused by the treachery of Judas Iscariot.

Miracles of difficult pregnancies attributed to Blessed Pope VI

Pope known for teaching on birth control obtaining miracles for unborn babies


 



Paul VI draws closer to canonization

During his recent visit to Bozzolo, Italy, Pope Francis declared his desire to be able to canonize Paul VI, who was pope from 1963-1978.
According to a report today in the blog Il Sismographo, a miracle is being studied by the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, which if recognizes, will pave the way for the former pope’s canonization.
The miracle is related to the healing of a child on December 25, 2014, after a complicated pregnancy and a premature birth. The mother went to the Sanctuary of Graces in Brescia and prayed for Blessed Paul VI’s intercession for her tiny daughter’s survival.
“During his recent visit to Bozzolo, Pope Francis repeated his desire to canonize Paul VI,” noted Don Adriano Bianchi, director of the news service of Paul VI’s home diocese, Brescia, in a report on the subject in the journal Brescia oggi, on July 18.
The miracle approved for the beatification of Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) was also related to a difficult pregnancy.
A woman was encouraged to abort her child because the baby was disabled. She refused the abortion and entrusted the baby to Paul VI’s intercession, because of his encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968). The infant survived, without any health concerns whatsoever. Paul VI was beatified on October 19, 2014, at the conclusion of the first Synod on the Family.

Prayers ascending for Sen. John McCain

John McCain, Republican senator from Arizona, diagnosed with brain tumor
The Washington Post

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, his office said Wednesday, throwing into doubt when and if he will return to Washington to resume his duties in the Senate.
The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix said doctors discovered a tumor called a glioblastoma following surgery to remove a blood clot above McCain’s left eye last week. The senator and his family are considering a variety of treatment options, including a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, according to the hospital.

McCain, 80 has been away from the Senate this week, recovering from the surgery and undergoing tests. His office issued a statement describing him “in good spirits” and noting that his underlying health is excellent — but not indicating when he will return to the Senate.
Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of brain cancer, and the prognosis for this kind of cancer is generally poor. The late senator Edward Kennedy survived less than nine months after his was found.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wednesday Saint of the Day

. St. Macrina the Younger

Image of St. Macrina the Younger

Facts

Feastday: July 19
Birth: 330
Death: 379


Macrina the Younger was the granddaughter of Macrina the Elder and sister of St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Peter of Sebastea. She was well educated, especially in scripture. She was engaged to be married when she was twelve, but when her fiance died, she decided to dedicate her life to God. On the death of her father, she and her mother retired to the family estate in Pontus and lived a life of prayer and contemplation in a community they formed there. Macrina became head of the group when her mother died and lived in Pontus until her death. Her feast day isJuly 19th.

Pope is popular on Twitter

Pope’s Twitter Account: More Than 35M Subscribers
Francis’ Instagram Has Exceeded 4M Followers

PHOTO.VA - L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO
Pope Francis’ Twitter account in nine languages, ​​now has more than 35 million subscribers, reports Vatican Radio. It has seen a sharp rise in the last month, especially in English (with more than 11 million subscribers).
The @Pontifex account, opened by Pope Benedict XVI on Dec. 3, 2012, is among the most followed in the world and the one that records the most retweets. Since March 19, 2015, Pope Francis is also present on Instagram with the account @Franciscus which has recently exceeded 4 million subscribers.
“The Pope’s ability to fuel public debate on complex issues is of great interest,” says Professor Paolo Peverini, lecturer in semiotics at the LUISS Guido Carli University and consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication.
“In my opinion,” says the professor, “we should especially emphasize the growth that characterizes the Instagram account, @Franciscus, which involves young users. This is the “capacity of Pope Francis,” the Italian professor underscored, to be “heard” by users who a few years ago, may have been a bit distant from the Church.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A life dedicated to the sick

St. Camillus de Lellis

Image of St. Camillus de Lellis

Facts

Feastday: July 18
Patron of doctors


St. Camillus de Lellis was born at Bocchianico, Italy. He fought for the Venetians against the Turks, was addicted to gambling, and by 1574 was penniless in Naples. He became a Capuchin novice, but was unable to be professed because of a diseased leg he contracted while fighting the Turks. He devoted himself to caring for the sick, and became director of St. Giacomo Hospital in Rome. He received permission from his confessor (St. Philip Neri) to be ordained and decided, with two companions, to found his own congregation, the Ministers of the Sick (the Camellians), dedicated to the care of the sick. They ministered to the sick of Holy Ghost Hospital in Rome, enlarged their facilities in 1585, founded a new house in Naples in 1588, and attended the plague-stricken aboard ships in Rome's harbor and in Rome. In 1591, the Congregation was made into an order to serve the sick by Pope Gregory XIV, and in 1591 and 1605, Camillus sent members of his order to minister to wounded troops in Hungary and Croatia, the first field medical unit. Gravely ill for many years, he resigned as superior of the Order in 1607 and died in Rome on July 14, the year after he attended a General Chapter there. He was canonized in 1746, was declared patron of the sick, with St. John of God, by Pope Leo XIII, and patron of nurses and nursing groups by Pope Pius XI. His feast day is July